Watch the Paris Roubaix Cycling Race
February 25, 2005 7:54 PM   Subscribe

If I were to show up in Roubaix France the day of the Paris-Roubaix Cycling race, April 10 this year, would I be able to get into the Roubaix Velodrome without any advance tickets, be able to see and hear the progress of the race then watch the finish live? If this is not possible where else would be a good place to watch the race? I don't know the area at all so trying to dash around the back roads for good vantage points would be difficult.
posted by jholland to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
I don't know the actual procedure, if they issue tickets or not. You might want to try asking the organizers. The velodrome finish is usually anticlimactic, though. The race is almost always decided on one of the pave sections. I would want to see the section in the Arenberg forest. People camp out overnight to get a good spot, but some strong Belgian ale should help ward off the chill. Sounds like a lot of fun, and this is a question I never imagined I would see in Ask MeFi. George Hincappie will eventually win this race.
posted by fixedgear at 1:59 AM on February 26, 2005

Response by poster: Alas the Arenberg Forest is not part of the race route this year. From the press release at the Tour de France site: "There is hence a dangerous 200 metre passage, linked to mining subsidence, which has resulted in the « Mare à Goriaux » (Goriaux Pool). A slimy film due to continual damp collects on the cobblestones, transforming this portion of the road into a real trap for the riders." From watching the 2003 race DVD and following the published route on maps I can see how the race twists and turns in the Arenberg Forest area to ride over as much of the pave as possible which suggests going to that area anyway. However the route has changed and I haven't been able to find the 2005 race route. Here is an account of one way to experience the race.
posted by jholland at 7:27 AM on February 26, 2005

I don't think the route is finalized yet. I've googled to no avail. Several commercial tour operators web sites say stuff like "we'll take you to the Arenberg forest - oops, not included this year, we'll update when route becomes finalized."
posted by fixedgear at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2005

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